One of four Dutch clubs in the knockout phase, PSV Eindhoven enter the UEFA Europa Conference League to take on Israeli Cup holders Maccabi Tel-Aviv.
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One of four Dutch clubs in the knockout phase of the UEFA Europa Conference League, PSV Eindhoven enter the competition with a home fixture against Israeli Cup holders Maccabi Tel-Aviv.
• While PSV dropped to third in their UEFA Europa League group, behind Monaco and Real Sociedad on eight points, following a Matchday 6 defeat in Spain, Maccabi finished runners-up in UEFA Europa Conference League Group A to LASK Linz having secured their qualification with two games to spare.
• This is the clubs' first encounter in UEFA competition.
• PSV are undefeated in four matches against Israeli opposition. They won the first three games 1-0 before surrendering their perfect record with a 3-3 draw at home Hapoel Tel-Aviv in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• Maccabi have a positive record against Dutch clubs of W3 D1 L2. The two defeats came in their first two matches in the Netherlands, but they won on their third and most recent trip, 2-1 at AZ Alkmaar in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• PSV were runners-up to Ajax in the 2020/21 Eredivisie, finishing 16 points behind the Amsterdam club. Roger Schmidt's team coasted through two UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds this season, eliminating Galatasaray and Midtjylland, but came unstuck in the play-offs against Benfica (1-2 a, 0-0 h).
• The Eindhoven club therefore competed in the UEFA Europa League group stage for a record-equalling ninth season, but they failed to secure a sixth qualification for the competition's knockout phase, beating Sturm Graz twice (4-1 a, 2-0 h) but taking just one point each off the teams that finished above them – Real Sociedad (2-2 h, 0-3 a) and Monaco (1-2 h, 0-0 a).
• PSV began this European campaign with two big wins in Eindhoven, 5-1 against Galatasaray and 3-0 versus Midtjylland, to add to three in a row from last season, but were without a victory in three home European encounters (D2 L1) until they overcame Sturm on Matchday 5.
• Maccabi were runners-up in the Israeli top flight last season, missing out on a hat-trick of titles as they finished four points adrift of Maccabi Haifa. They did, however, win the State Cup and also enjoyed a lengthy 2020/21 European campaign that lasted from the first qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League to the UEFA Europa League round of 32, where they were eliminated by Shakhtar Donetsk (0-2 h, 0-1 a).
• Three qualifying rounds were successfully negotiated by Maccabi this summer en route to the UEFA Europa Conference League group stage as they went unbeaten in knocking out Sutjeksa Nikšić, Spartak Trnava and Shakhter Karagandy. They extended that run with three victories and one draw in their first four group games – including the biggest away win in the group phase, 5-0 at HJK Helsinki – to secure further progress, but then lost 0-1 at home to LASK, a result that enabled the Austrian side to top the group and leave their hosts as confirmed runners-up.
• Maccabi are undefeated outside Israel this season (W2 D4), that victory at HJK ranking as the club's biggest away win in UEFA competition. They have lost both of their two previous European away fixtures in the spring – UEFA Europa League defeats at Basel (0-3, also on agg) in 2013/14 and Shakhtar last season.
UEFA Europa Conference League squad changes
In: Nathangelo Markelo, Ismael Saibari, Joey Veerman (Heerenveen)
Out: Derrick Luckassen (Fatih Karagümrük, loan), Emmanuel Matuta (Groningen), Davy Pröpper (retired), Dante Rigo (Beerschot)
In: Josué Sá (Ludogorets, loan), Djordje Jovanović (Čukarički)
Out: Bar Cohen (Hapoel Nof HaGalil, loan), Eduardo Guerrero (Hapoel Jersualem, loan), Ronen Hanzis (Hapoel Nof HaGalil, loan), Luis Hernández (Cádiz), Guy Mizrahi (Ironi Kiryat Shmona, loan), Ido Shahar (Maccabi Petah Tikva, loan), Dor Turgeman (Beitar Tel-Aviv, loan)
Links and trivia
• PSV's Israeli striker Eran Zahavi scored 127 goals in 168 matches for Maccabi in all competitions, winning three successive Israeli Premier League titles (2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15) – and finishing as the league's top scorer in each campaign – as well as the 2014/15 State Cup.
• Zahavi is Israel's all-time record scorer, with 33 goals, and has played together with several Maccabi players at international level. Sheran Yeini, Tal Ben Chaim and Avi Rikan were all team-mates of Zahavi during his time at the club.
• Maccabi captain Yeini played for Vitesse from 2015 to 2017. His three matches against PSV all ended in defeat.
• Brandley Kuwas, Maccabi's Netherlands-born midfielder, played for Volendam (2012–15), Excelsior (2015/16) and Heracles Almelo (2016–18). He faced PSV eight times but never won (D2 L6).
• PSV defender Philipp Mwene made his international debut for Austria in a 5-2 defeat by Israel in a FIFA World Cup qualifier in September 2021. His club colleague Zahavi scored twice for an Israel side in which Maccabi duo Ofir Davidzada and Dan Glazer both appeared as substitutes.
• Former Serbia defender Mladen Krstajić was appointed as the new Maccabi head coach on 9 December, replacing Dutchman Patrick van Leeuwen, who had been dismissed in late October.